Dipstick only urinalysis screen for the pediatric emergency room
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To determine if microscopic urinalysis is needed in all pediatric emergency room patients screened for urinary tract infections (UTI), we compared the dipstick urinalysis and complete urinalysis (dipstick and microscopy) with urine cultures in 236 children, aged 3 weeks to 21 years. The ability to detect UTI by dipstick only and by complete urinalysis was the same, however microscopic evaluation added many false-positive results without detecting additional UTIs. Because the ability to detect UTI (sensitivity) is maintained, we now offer a dipstick only urinalysis to our emergency room for children 2 years of age or older, with a microscopic analysis performed automatically if dipstick results are positive. If no microscopic urinalysis is required, testing turn-around time is reduced by 12.3 min/test and the hospital charge is reduced from U.S. $ 32 to U.S. $ 12.
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